In 1939, Hungarian engineer Miklos Straussler, with the assistance of the Manfred Weiss Works in Budapest, developped an armoured car for the Hungarian army with the name of 39.M Csaba felderitö päncelgöpkocsi (39.M Csaba reconnaissance armoured car).
The armament of that vehicle consisted of a Solothurn 2 cm anti-tank rifle and a co-axial Gebauer 8 mm machine-gun fixed to small turret with just 9 mm armour.
The vehicle was also equipped with a detachable 8 mm light machine gun fired through the rear hatch in the anti-aircraft role.
The crew could dismount and carry this MG when conducting reconnaissance on foot.
It also had two driving positions - one at the front as normal, and an additional one at the rear.
While the first batch, 61 vehicles, were ordered from the Weiss Manfred Works in the same year, the second batch, 32 vehicles, were ordered in 1940.
Twelve of them were command variants (40M) which replaced the anti-tank rifle with two additional radio sets with a collapsible frame antenna.
The Csaba was the standard armoured car of the Hungarian Army’s reconnaissance units.
The first 61 39M vehicles equipped the 1st and 2nd Mechanized Brigades, the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions as well as the 1st Mountain Brigade.
A squadron consisted of 10 vehicles, one command 40M and two training vehicles.
The section of a mountain brigade consisted of three 39Ms.
Except for the mountain brigades, the aforementioned units all participated in Operation Barbarossa.
In December 1941, these units were reorganized and brought back from the front, with only 17 surviving Csabas.
Combat experience showed that the weaponry and armor protection were insufficient for anything but reconnaissance.
In December 1942, on the Don, the 1st Cavalry Brigade lost almost all its vehicle, 18 Csabas in all.
In April 1944, the 2nd Armored Division counted 14 armored cars and was transferred to the Eastern front in August, but only 12 Csabas returned home.
By the summer of 1944 the Army was left with 48 combat-ready armored vehicles.
From the autumn 1944 their number gradually decreased, the last Czabas being lost during the siege of Budapest in Winter 1944/5.